What Can Woodpeckers Teach us About Marketing Strategy?

Business lessons from a woodpecker?

Business lessons from  a woodpecker?

What Can Woodpeckers Teach us About Marketing Strategy?

I went for a walk with a friend yesterday at one of our favorite spots on the bluffs above the ocean near where I live in Goleta, CA. I saw one of these beautiful little downy woodpeckers in a shrub, noticed it and kept on walking. You might be wondering what on earth woodpeckers have to do with marketing strategy? Surprisingly, they have much to teach us.

Today I headed out my front door for a walk and had not one but four encounters with these little Downy woodpeckers in a nearby eucalyptus grove, including one that came flying right at me, stopping within a foot or two before turning around to head back to his tree. Hmm, not a common sight or occurrence from these shy birds.

I love woodpeckers, probably some residual fond memories of the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker. Remember him? Can you hear his crazy laugh in your head right now?

I have always been attracted to animals of all kinds and I do love the symbolism and meaning they can bring to our lives. So when I have an unexpected and up close and personal encounter like I had today, I try to pay attention and see if there is something that can be learned from the animal. I can honestly say I didn’t expect to learn quite so much from the woodpecker.

I did a quick Google search for woodpecker symbolism, wondering if I would find any information. To my surprise, the woodpecker had a powerful message for me that sparked some creative ideas as well as some clear messages about how to create more success with your marketing strategy.

On the site, Spirit-Animals.com, the authors write:

If Woodpecker has come knocking…

“It is time to really pay attention because opportunity has come knocking along with it. It is signaling you that great changes are happening in your life and it is up to you to seize the moment. Whether it is the renewal of an old project, the finishing of a new project or simply a serendipitous meeting with someone in your life. Whatever way you perceive it know that the door is wide open for you right now and that success is your for the asking.”

I love the hopefulness of this message and the possibility new opportunities are waiting for me, but what I appreciated even more was the message that it is up to me to seize those opportunities. What I have discovered with my coaching clients is that when they are feeling stuck, overwhelmed or fearful, they can’t see any opportunities. It’s as if they are blind to the possibilities that surround them. An effective marketing strategy often requires us to dig quite a few holes in trees before we find the tastiest bugs.

Sometimes the biggest opportunities come from listening to our own thoughts and feelings and trusting that we already know the right actions to take to get us to where we want to be. Woodpecker, according to Native-American symbolism, is a powerful symbol of many aspects of building a profitable business by creating the right marketing strategy to match you. Here is a list of symbolic meanings associated with woodpecker:

  • Balance
  • Progress
  • Signaling
  • Returning
  • Protection
  • Initiation
  • Attention
  • Prophesy
  • Listening
  • Opportunity
  • Discernment
  • Communication
  • Determination

Looking at this list, where are you seizing the opportunities and where are you being blind to possibilities?

Avia Venefica writes: “The symbolic meaning of woodpeckers also point to a need for creative vision. Being opportunistic, woodpeckers can see value everywhere, even in dead trees. Have you ditched an idea or given up on a project? The woodpecker may be trying to tell you to breathe new life into your project, just as they build new homes into dead trees.

Further, the symbolic meaning of woodpecker indicates a return to our roots, or having trust in our basic (gut) feelings. Dr. Carl Jung observed the woodpecker as a symbol of a return to the womb of creativity. In this observation the tree is symbolic of a womb; earthy, grounded, sturdy and secure. The woodpecker’s home within the tree is analogous of a fierce determination to return and protect that which is sacred to us.

When this bird comes pecking, it is a call for us to return to our roots, back to the womb of our ideas and use our intellect and discernment to follow through with our plans.”

When it comes to marketing strategy and reaping the harvest of all the marketing seeds that we sow or in the case of the woodpecker, all the holes that we have drilled, I ask you to think about your own process of discernment – are you giving up too soon? Getting frustrated? Feeling overwhelmed? Ignoring those twinges in your gut?

Success does require fierce determination as well as knowing and protecting what is most sacred to us. When I have lost sight of what is sacred or or lost my fierceness, I have have also lost my ability to connect – with my family and with the clients I want to attract.

Today woodpecker reminded me that it is through a combination of seeing opportunity and taking action that will create even more success. Do you have a marketing strategy in place for your business that allows you to take inspired actions with a fierce determination? If not, let’s talk. Marketing is magic, mindset and momentum all rolled into one.

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If you are feeling scared, stuck, afraid or overwhelmed, now is the time to seize the opportunity and take action. Click here to apply now, I only offer a few of these complimentary sessions each month. Does one of them belong to you?

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21 Comments

  1. Victoria Virgo on October 2, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I think I agree when you say that we usually already know what action we need to take. Sometimes it can echo very loudly in our heads but because we are fearful, we do not act.

    Hopefully I am getting better and listening to my own thoughts and taking action.

    Great post – Love Woody Woodpecker 🙂

  2. Kathie on October 2, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Fabulous article! Who would have thought woodpeckers could teach us so much. I really like the idea that seeing one means the possibility of new opportunities! But like you said, being open to those opportunities. Oh and thanks for getting woody woodpeckers laugh stuck in my head now! lol 🙂

    • minette on October 2, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Thanks Kathie! So sorry that you are now hearing Woody Woodpecker over and over and over…

  3. Tamera Berning on October 2, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    I just love how you learned so much from woodpeckers! As a bird-lover myself I also try to learn something from those beautiful animals in our world.

    • minette on October 2, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks, Tamera. Our family are all big bird-watchers, so much fun! But it’s rare I feel like one is really speaking to me with this kind of intention.

  4. Nanette on October 2, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    HaHaHeyHaHa, HaHaHeyHaHa, HaHeyHaHaHa back at you, Minette :-). I had to go back to the 1940s versions to see where it all started. My oh my – guess violence has been an theme for a while.

    Thanks for the reminder to get back to nature for answers. I’m on it . . . tomorrow ;-).

    • minette on October 2, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      It’s pretty amazing to go back and look at some of the old cartoons, violence has definitely been popular for far too long in my book. It exists in nature too, but more often than not what I find there is peace 🙂

  5. Vidya Sury on October 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Oh I loved this post, Minette. I had no idea. I enjoy watching animals and birds – in fact, when I walk on my roof/terrace every day, I am fascinated by the kites, parrots, pigeons and mynahs. How interesting to learn about woodpeckers. Yes, I can hear Woody’s crazy laugh in my head 😀

    • minette on October 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      I enjoy watching them, too but love when one of them really calls out to me!

  6. Lisa Scott on October 3, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Very interesting to learn about woodpeckers, I expect if we look around at other creatures we could learn from them as well!

    • minette on October 3, 2014 at 7:55 am

      You bet, it’s amazing what the natural world can teach us about all aspects of life if we are open to seeing the wonder.

  7. Corinne Rodrigues on October 3, 2014 at 1:33 am

    So many lessons to be learned, Minette. Being open to opportunities to learn and grow is a wonderful way to stay smart and young! I’ve never seen or heard a woodpecker – having lived in India all my life. However, when I was young, I used to sing the woody woodpecker song. 🙂

    • minette on October 3, 2014 at 7:56 am

      Corinne, what kinds of birds do you see? One of the miracles of earth is the diversity!

  8. Alexandria Gunn on October 3, 2014 at 2:01 am

    I remember watching Woody Woodpecker. Very fond memories.

    Great post, Minette. It is so important to be open to new opportunities. We just have no idea when they will be presented to us, or even how they will be. It’s easy to brush them to one side without really thinking–or usually due to the fear of them.

    • minette on October 3, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Thanks for your comment Alexandria, it’s so true that we often brush aside opportunities due to fear!

  9. Francene Stanley on October 3, 2014 at 3:20 am

    I didn’t realize the woodpecker symbolized so many things. Fascinating. When I first consider the attributes of the bird, I think of the absolute determination and belief he must have to drill through wood to make a home.

  10. Amalia on October 3, 2014 at 4:56 am

    I love the idea of being like a woodpecker. 🙂 Great post!

    • minette on October 3, 2014 at 7:53 am

      They are often seen as noisy and irritating, like Woody the Woodpecker but they are quite resourceful and creative 🙂

  11. Kristen from The Road to Domestication on October 3, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Great post! I’m terrified of birds, so this is the best thing I’ve read about a bird in a long time LOL

  12. Hope N. Griffin on October 4, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Great post. Trusting my own ideas can be so frightening at times 🙂

  13. Lewis Lafontaine on February 17, 2016 at 12:46 am

    You write: “Dr. Carl Jung observed the woodpecker as a symbol of a return to the womb of creativity. In this observation the tree is symbolic of a womb; earthy, grounded, sturdy and secure.”

    What citation can you provide to confirm that Dr. Jung ever said this?

    Thank you

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